There are almost 70 different Canadian immigration programs. Finding the right option can be a difficult task unless you receive expert guidance from a well-qualified Canadian immigration lawyer. We will present some of the most common routes as well as other less well know options.
Immigration to Canada as a Skilled Worker
There are fifteen Canadian skilled worker programs. Some require a job offer while others operate on a points-based system. Some programs also have an occupation list which can change quite frequently according to Canada’s provincial and national labour market needs.
Canada’s skilled worker programs are very popular as a successful applicant and their family members will receive Canadian permanent residence straight off the bat.
Popular occupation fields include healthcare professionals, I.T. professionals, financial and accounting occupations, engineers, architects, skilled trades persons and senior managers.
Immigration to Canada as a Temporary Worker
IEC Visa: The IEC Visa is for young citizens from 32 countries (including the UK) that have a reciprocal youth mobility arrangement with Canada. Applicants have the opportunity to live and work in Canada for up to four years depending on their nationality. An IEC Visa is a great way to transition to permanent residence after one-year working inside Canada through the Canadian Experience Class or a Federal or Provincial skilled worker program.
Temporary Work Permit: If a Canadian employer has made you an employment offer which is validated by the Canadian government with a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, then you may be able to apply for an initial two-year work permit. Once you accumulate one-year of skilled work experience in Canada you can then apply for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class. There are several semi-skilled programs if you are working in a semi-skilled occupation and want to apply for permanent residency.
Intra-Company Transfer: If you are an Executive or Senior Manager who is being assigned to Canada by your current company you may secure an ICT visa.
Immigration to Canada as a Business Person
Canada is rated one of the world’s best countries to launch a new business. Canada offers 16 different business immigration options. These include:
Provincial Entrepreneur Visas: If you are thinking of launching your business in a particular province then it is worth exploring the different provincial entrepreneur programs. Some of these programs are designed for existing businesses who are looking to open a Canadian branch. Others allow an applicant to take over or invest in an existing business. Each province has a list of ineligible businesses and a detailed set of investment requirements.
Owner/Operator Work Permit: If you own a business in Canada you can apply for a work permit in order to operate it. In certain circumstances you can then transition to permanent residency.
Farming Businesses: If you have experience of owning and managing your own farm then Canada is the place for you. The provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are situated in the Canadian prairies and each offers a farming immigration program. Additionally, the federal government run their own self-employed farm program under the self-employed immigration stream.
Startup Visa: The Federal Startup Visa is designed for entrepreneurs looking to tie up with business incubators. These business incubators will assist international entrepreneurs to refine their product or business offering and then launch it successfully across Canada and North America. This is a popular program as successful applicants can secure permanent residence in 6 months.
Immigration to Canada as an Investor
If you have a net worth of $1.6 million and can invest $800,000 for a five-year period then you may qualify for Canadian permanent residence. Your $800,000 investment will be refunded to you in full at the end of the five-year period. It is also possible to invest $200,000 and secure financing for the remaining $600,000.
Immigration to Canada as a Student
International students who graduate from two-year programs at designated learning institutes will receive a three-year post-graduate work permit. Once you have completed at least one-year of employment you may apply for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class. Additionally each province has its own immigration stream for students which enable them to apply for permanent residence.
Immigration to Canada as a Family Member
Spouse Visa/Common-Law Partner: If you are the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident then you can emigrate to Canada.
Parent Visa/Super Visa: Canadian citizens or permanent residents with three years of income in excess of the minimum threshold can sponsor their parents and grandparents for Canadian permanent residence. For those who are unable to meet the requirements to sponsor their parents for permanent residence they may be able to apply for a Super Visa which enables the holder to live in Canada for ten years in two-year cycles.
Dependent Child(ren): If you have dependent children under the age of 19 then you may be able to sponsor them to Canada. The maximum age for dependent children may be increased to 22 in 2016.
Provincial Nomination: If you have family members in certain provinces who are prepared to offer you a job or help you to establish yourself then you may apply for a provincial nomination certificate. This is the first step towards submitting an application for permanent residence to the federal government.